Write It Sideways

Excerpt Critique: “The Disease,” Suspense

Please welcome today’s aspiring author, Rob Kennedy, ready for a peer critique. Take a moment to read the excerpt, then please leave some thoughtful feedback in the comment section below.

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The Disease


I dialled the number; I knew it would be him that answered. ‘Hello, this is Peter Cross, is that you?’

‘What do you want Peter?’

‘Those men, those nine men that died on Christmas Island, did they have what Sammy had?’

‘What, how the hell would I know, what’s this got to do with me?’

‘I think there’s a strong connection between Sammy’s death and theirs; they look like they had the same symptoms as Sammy! The green mucus, it took only two days for them to die! Are you listening to me, what’s your name?’

‘I’m not telling you anything mate.’

‘Come on man, surely there must be some connection, you know the Health Minister Nicky Rexson, she was in that detention centre on Christmas Island two days before they died?’

‘So what?’

‘So there’s a connection, it was on the ABC news radio website, look it up. 21st of October, written by Debra Clayton, the ABC news radio website…’ the phone clicked off.

I had him worried or at least interested, there had to be some connection.

The next day as I was going to bed at about 10.30 the phone rang, it was him. ‘My name’s Paul, I’ll let you figure out if I’m telling you the truth or not. You’re right, the minister was there, and I’ve done a bit more digging, internally. I found a report on the condition of those nine men, they’re saying it was bird flu, but people don’t die in two days from bird flu, not all nine at once, it has to be something else; that report’s not complete. It was way too abridged for a report on the deaths of nine people, let alone refugees with bird flu; something’s missing – this is a cover up!’

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